Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: The Mutations

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Written by Ed Castle.

THE MUTATIONS

Performed by…
Various

First appearance…
The Muppet Show Episode 102: Connie Stevens (1976)

Most recent appearance…
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Best known role…
Monsters seen in The Muppet Show opening arches; backup singers for Connie Stevens

WHO ARE THE MUTATIONS?
The Mutations are a trio of purple full-bodied Muppet monsters whose name is a parody of the singing group, The Temptations.  They first appeared on Episode 102 of The Muppet Show as Connie Stevens’ back-up singers in “A Teenager in Love.” In most of their subsequent appearances, the three would mostly be depicted as dancers rather than singers.  Except for their heights, which vary depending on who is performing them, the Mutations are otherwise indistinguishable from each other.

Although they were introduced as a group, they would also be featured individually in later appearances. Two Mutations, for example, appeared in “The Muppet Show Theme” (alongside Sweetums, Thog, and Timmy Monster) starting in the second season. Other times, only one Mutation would appear in musical numbers, such as in Episode 307 during Alice Cooper’s song “School’s Out” with other Muppet monsters.

The Mutations were also seen in Muppets Most Wanted during the big wedding scene at the Tower of London.

WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED THE MUTATIONS?
When filling background roles, Mutations are a good option for the Muppets. If they have a female guest star who needs a dance partner like Madeline Khan in the song “Feet”; full-bodied Muppets are called for for roles in a production number like Tony or Rico in “Copacabana”; or just hanging back to guide guests to their seats as potential ushers at the London wedding, a Mutation’s always at hand.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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